Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Sprawling and Brawling"

The debate on the future of Fayetteville High School has now become state news. Today's issue of the Arkansas Times has an article on the controversy between those who argue for keeping the high school in town and the Cowbird plan to sell out to the UA and build anew in the burbs. The school administrators' intentionally poor communication strategy is not the only factor undermining public trust in the decision process.

Of particular interest are the weasel words of
University of Arkansas Grand Poobahs who hatched a nefarious plan to jack up student tuition by $1,100 as a means to satisfy their land grab scheme. When the Pederson-Sugg memo was discovered by the public, it became an orphan, but it is still operative. You'll be amazed at the squirming and lack of fortitude to claim credit, assuming you can decode the abuse of language and lack of clarity expected from such overpaid University bureaucrats.

Here's an excerpt from Doug Smith's fine article:

“Something of an outcry arose with the recent publication of an August memorandum from Donald O. Pederson, UA vice chancellor for finance and administration, to B. Alan Sugg, president of the University of Arkansas System. Pederson wrote on the feasibility of paying for the FHS property by raising tuition and fees for University students. The increase would be on the order of $9 per credit hour, he said.

“Asked how he came to write the memo, Pederson told the Arkansas Times by e-mail:

“‘I may have been asked to keep President Sugg informed but do not recall if it was Chancellor White or Dave Gearhart that may have asked me or if there was some other reason. [John A. White is the outgoing chancellor of UA's Fayetteville campus. Vice Chancellor G. David Gearhart will succeed him as chancellor on July 1.] Since the decision on the property is a Board of Trustees decision and articles were to be written about it, I may have wanted to provide the then current thinking on the subject to the President who has the most interaction with the Board. I don't believe I got a response.’

“Sugg, whose office is in Little Rock, told the Times ‘My response is I don't want to be involved in the controversy.’ But he added that UA administrators are considering the long-range interests of the University. UA is presently buying ‘little pieces of property’ around the Fayetteville campus, he said, and the FHS property, if available, would probably be UA's last chance to buy 40 acres of contiguous land. Whether the property will be available is up to the Fayetteville School Board, he said. If UA does have a chance to buy, a tuition increase would be one way to do it, but that decision would be up to the UA Board of Trustees, he said.”

We report; you decide if it is just more bs.

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